"Guess they're going for the crimes rather than the causes of crimes."
Chief Constable Sara Thornton, who chairs the National Police Chiefs' Council, said in a conference hosted by the NPCC that pursuing gender offenses
Thornton intimated that the growing call to chase after such incidents has more political motivation than public interest.
"We are asked to provide more and more bespoke services that are all desirable -- but the simple fact is there are too many desirable and deserving issues," she said.
The implication that misogyny is not a crime ensured that Thornton is in for a round of Twitter lashing. And sure enough:
The idea that police shouldn't monitor misogyny so they can focus on "proper crime" is totally bizarre when you realise how many crimes – violent and property – have misogyny as a factor. Acknowledging that makes police more effective, not less.— Sarah Ditum (@sarahditum) November 1, 2018
Criticism of Thornton's statement largely stemmed from the view that toxic masculinity is the underlying diagnosis behind many acts of violence. To ignore it, some of her critics say, would be like devoting the funds of hospital solely for symptom alleviation.
Guess they're going for crimes rather than the causes of crimes.— Simon Fellowes (@simonfspeak) November 1, 2018
Others feared that Thornton's rhetoric veils an intent to turn a blind eye on certain sexual offenses.
What does “stop treating misogyny as a hate crime” mean? If it means that the police should stop investigating sex-based crimes like sexual assault, then this is very dangerous thinking. Police problems are caused by austerity. Response should be a cash boost https://t.co/r1OCCNaKgu— LeanneWood gbwls (@LeanneWood) November 1, 2018
Leanne Wood, a Welsh assemblywoman, tweeted that the real problem is the "austerity" of police funding. Indeed, according to Sky News, police funding has been slashed by 19 percent since 2010.
But for Thornton's boosters, the problem she has addressed has more to do with a creep of identity politics into law enforcement.
At last: a top cop that speaks sense >> Senior police officer: Investigate burglaries and violent crime not misogyny pic.twitter.com/6GbTBE1IuB— Martin Daubney (@MartinDaubney) November 1, 2018
For them, Thornton's statement was more than welcome.
Last month a Labour MP commissioned a review to examine whether Britain's hate laws should be expanded to include misogyny. A few months earlier, Prime Minister Theresa May said that she's interested in making "upskirting" a criminal offense.
British law already follows a much broader definition for hate crimes than the United States, zealously prosecuting "offensive speech," sometimes without requirement for proof of "hate" or "prejudice."